Before entering films, Sherawat appeared in television commercials with Amitabh Bachchan for BPL and Shahrukh Khan for Santro. She also appeared in Nirmal Pandey’s Maar Dala and Surjit Bindrakhia’s Lak Tunoo music video. She debuted in films with a small role in Jeena Sirf Merre Liye where she was credited as Reema Lamba.
Sherawat attracted notice with her appearance in the 2003 film, Khwahish. In 2004, she starred in Murder, a film inspired by Hollywood’s Unfaithful. She received a nomination for Best Actress at the Zee Cine Awards for her performance in Murder. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of the year.
Since then, Sherawat has been known for expressing her opinions in public, as well for the reaction to some of her statements.
In 2005, Sherawat acted in The Myth, a Chinese film, co-starring with Jackie Chan. She played the role of an Indian princess who falls in love and is rescued by Jackie. The Myth was her first International film. Her appearance at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the film grabbed a lot of attention with Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss calling her “the next big thing”
Her performance in the 2006 film Pyaar Ke Side Effects, co-starring Rahul Bose, won her praise from around the industry, and the film also did moderately well at the box office.
Her first release in 2007 was Mani Ratnam’s Guru, in which she appeared in a special song, “Mayya Mayya”. She also played a guest role in Himesh Reshammiya’s Aap Ka Suroor – The Real Love Story and reportedly charged Rs. 15 million for a 10-minute appearance. Her last release of 2007 was Welcome, which also did well at the box office receiving blockbuster status.
Her 2008 releases were Ugly Aur Pagli and Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam. Both films were unsuccessful at the box office.